Size: 18,20 Km?
Population: Approx. 700
Residents known as: Cutare?os
Monuments: Church of Nuestra Se?ora de la Encarnaci?n, Moorish Fountain, Fuente del Hierro archaeological remains.
Geographical situation: In the Axarqu?a, 16 kilometres from V?lez-M?laga and 32 from Malaga, at 585 metres above sea level.
Tourist information: Town Hall, C/Fuente, 13. 29718.
Phone: 952 554 247 Fax: 952 554 229.

The municipality of C?tar is in the interior of the Axarqu?a, 16 kilometres from V?lez, from where one leaves on the Benamargosa road to get to the village. The journey takes slightly less than 30 minutes, and once there it is advisable to leave one?s car outside the urban centre, given that most of the narrow, twisting streets of this typically Moorish village are closed to traffic. The most interesting parts of the village are calle La Fuente, so called because it leads to an ancient fountain dating from Moorish times, and calle Rodr?guez de la Fuente, which passes under some of the houses that are supported by semicircular arches. The origin of the name would seem to be the Arabic Cautzar, meaning "Fountain of Paradise." But there were people living here long before the Moors arrived. Archaeological remains found in the area show the presence of human life here from the end of the Neolithic period to the beginning of the Bronze Age. The Moors, however, built a fortress on the spot, since destroyed, and it was around this that the urban centre grew up. Many historians believe that the Battle of the Axarqu?a, in which the Christians suffered a resounding defeat, took place in C?tar. From that time too we have the "Legend of the Bird of Death", which tells the strange story of a hunter. There had been mysterious deaths in the countryside, and one night the hunter was surprised to see an apparition in the form of a bird that turned into a woman. She led the hunter to a crystal palace situated in a cave in the middle of a gully. Once inside, the hunter discovered the bodies of the dead in one of the rooms. To leave the place, as he understandably wished to do quickly, he told the woman that he wanted to look at the stars. Outside again, he pulled out his dagger and held it up like a cross, thereby escaping with his life from that place.

The feria in August is one of the most important festive events in C?tar, with many people who have left the town coming back to be there during the days and nights of music and dancing in the streets. Although the feria, in honour of the patron saint, San Roque, does not actually begin until August 11th, various other events take place in the days leading up to it. The feria itself starts on the Friday night with a fireworks display, followed by the opening of the Official Caseta, and then the election of the Queen of the Feria and her Ladies of Honour takes place. Mass is said in the church the next day in honour of San Roque and the Virgen de los ?ngeles. In the afternoon there are ribbon races and processions, and a huge paella is made in the Plaza de San Roque at lunchtime on the Sunday. At five in the morning the next day, the event ends with the traditional firecrackers.

The most traditional dish of C?tar is soup with chickpeas and chorizo sausage, and many variations of this are made in the village. There are also many dishes traditional to the Axarqu?a as a whole, mainly the various soups. The village is also known for the quality of its pastries. The land around C?tar produces excellent sweet wine, which is especially good as a table wine. These products can be found in many of the local shops and private houses in the village.

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Villages of
The Axarquia